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BREAKING NEWS: NEA Receives Funding Increase!
March 20, 2018 by Americans for the Arts
We have breaking news out of Washington, D.C. today. Congress has released their final funding plan for FY 2018, and it is great news!
 
Congress is proposing to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) each at $152.8 million. This is a funding increase of $3 million to support more direct grants and expand access to creative arts therapies for the military.

This final budget is in stark contrast to a year ago, when the Endowments were facing a proposed termination by the President --the first ever!  Since then, our #SAVEtheNEA campaign has together resulted in hundreds of thousands of calls, emails, local op-eds, expanded research, newspaper ads, and office visits.
 
Your advocacy, your persistence, and your time has made a difference. Congress has now decided to invest more funding into the arts.
 
This support from members of Congress in both parties is a testament that the arts are bipartisan
 
NEA grant money is distributed to all 50 states and U.S. territories, and 65 percent of NEA grants goes to small and medium-sized organizations. More, over 40 percent of NEA-supported efforts are in high-poverty neighborhoods.
 
Communicating this important work has led to the third consecutive year of funding increases for the NEA. It is also the second time in a row that a Republican-led Congress has reversed a request from President Trump to cut our cultural agencies’ funding.   
 
In fact, in the budget plan released today, none of our nation’s arts and cultural agencies incurred a budget cut and nearly of them received funding increases for this year (see chart below).  
 
 Final FY 2018 Federal Funding for Key Arts Agencies & Programs
 
Key Federally Funded Arts Program/Agency
(in $ millions)
President Trump’s
Proposal
U.S. House
Proposal
U.S. Senate
Committee Proposal
 
Final
FY 2018 Funding
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) *Termination $145 $150 $152.8
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) *Termination $145 $150 $152.8
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) *Termination $231 $235 $240
Corporation for Public Broadcasting *Termination $445
(plus $0 for interconnection system)
$445
(plus $20 for interconnection system)
$445
(plus $20 for interconnection system)
Assistance for Arts Education $0 $0 $27 $29
Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants $0 $500 $450 $1,100
Smithsonian Institution $947 $885 $878­ $1,043
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $36.7 $36.7 $36.7 $40.5
Save America’s Treasures $0 $4 $3 $13
Educational and Cultural Exchange programs $285 $591 $634 $646
Community Development Block Grants $0 $2,900 $3,000 $3,300


What’s Next

Today and tomorrow, the House and Senate are expected to vote on this agreement, and the President is expected to sign it into law. This will bring a final close to FY 2018—a long and bumpy roller coaster ride, and delivered 5 months late.
 
Going forward, both Endowments received that same termination proposal in the new budget request for FY 2019. However, the year is already off to a great start. Last week, the
Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter inspiring the 2013 Arts Advocacy Day attendees!  Remember her full remarks here.
co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) led a bipartisan letter calling for “at least $155 million” in FY 2019.
 
For the fifth consecutive year, that annual “Dear Colleague” letter has once again set a new record for the number of signatures—166 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed this letter!
 
We are humbled and grateful, and also mindful that we will sorely miss the leadership over many decades of Rep. Louise Slaughter, who passed away on Friday, March 16. Rep. Slaughter set an example for us all about how to work hard for causes you believe in. We are all so grateful for her tremendous work on behalf of the arts and arts education. You can read Americans for the Arts’ full statement here.
 

We are also thankful to the more than 650 arts advocates who were just in Washington, D.C. for the 31st annual Arts Advocacy Day on March 12-13 and made more than 300 office visits. Our strategy was to keep asking for $155 million. That has been the consensus ask of the arts and arts education field represented each year at Arts Advocacy Day—every year now for the past 6 years. Your work is not in vain. Advocacy works!
 
Keep the pressure on. Measured by just emails, advocates sent more than 194,300 #SAVEtheNEA campaign emails to Congress. Your work will be needed to ensure that the latest proposal from the Trump Administration in FY 2019 is again defeated this year. Thank you for being an arts advocate.
 
Help us continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund.  If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today - it's free and easy to join.
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